Vision of Aomori: Special Edition OKAWA Ryo’s Collection – Expression with the Power of Life

Design: YOSHIDA Katsunobu
  • 日本語

2021年12月25日(土)ー2022年2月13日(日)10:00-17:00 入場無料
青森公立大学 国際芸術センター青森 [ACAC] 展示棟ギャラリーB


大川亮 OKAWA Ryo

主催|青森公立大学 国際芸術センター青森[ACAC]
協力|AIRS(アーティスト・イン・レジデンス・サポーターズ)、青森公立大学芸術サークル 、ほか
助成|公益財団法人 青森学術文化振興財団

Vision of Aomori: Special Edition OKAWA Ryo’s Collection – Expression with the Power of Life
Dec. 25 (Sat), 2021 – Feb. 13 (Sun), 2022 10:00-17:00 Admission free
Closed: Year-end and New Year’s holidays (Dec. 29 (Wed) – Jan. 3 (Mon)) and dates related to university entrance examinations (Jan. 14 (Fri) – Jan. 16 (Sun) and Jan. 28 (Fri) – Jan. 30 (Sun))
Aomori Contemporary Art Centre [ACAC], Aomori Public University, Gallery B, Exhibition Hall

OKAWA Ryo (1881–1958) pioneered the discovery of the elaborate beauty of Origera (an embroidered rain cape), Orihabaki (traditional shin-guard), and Kogin-zashi (an old-style stitching technique) produced in the farming villages of Tsugaru region. Many traditional crafts had been disappearing due to rapid changes during the late Meiji period. However, observing the power of the younger generation’s self-expression through these crafts, Okawa was inspired to develop designs based on traditional techniques, thus creating a sustainable side job for farmers during the off-season.
Okawa was also versed in art as he secretly attended at the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko, and had exchanges with many cultural figures such as OKADA Shurei , KAWAI Kanjiro, and Bernard LEACH, as well as Bruno TAUT who visited Okawa’s house in Daikoji. YANAGI Muneyoshi , known for expanding the famous Mingei (folk craft) movement, highlighted Kogin embroidery in the magazine, “Kogei” (vol.14, issued in 1932), however, Okawa actually started collecting Kogin-zashi much earlier, around 1908 or 1909.
As well as Origera, Okawa’s collections include over one hundred Kogin items. His collection of textile pieces left with the body of the garment (kimono), shows his love of the art of patterns. This exhibition, which also introduces products inspired by his collections, such as collar containers and handbags, is a valuable opportunity to come into contact with Okawa’s perspective.

Born in 1881 in Daikoji village (currently Hirakawa City) in Aomori Prefecture, Okawa Ryo first studied at the College of Agriculture, Imperial University of Tokyo (predecessor of the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology), and then at the Tokyo Bijutsu Gakko (now the Tokyo University of the Arts), before returning to Aomori in 1903. When he was a member of the Daikoji Village town council, he invested his personal funds to establish the Nokan Kogei Research Institute, and dedicated himself to the preservation of local, traditional craft techniques, along with their development and distribution to help improve the lives of the farming community. Okawa also introduced Aomori’s crafts through his written articles for magazines, such as “Kogei”. He served as the chairman of the Agricultural Insurance Association, was the auditor of Konan Railway Company, and launched the Kimura Industrial Research Laboratory. He died in 1958.

Organized by: Aomori Contemporary Art Centre [ACAC], Aomori Public University
In Cooperation with: AIRS (Artist in Residence Supporters), Art Club of Aomori Public University and more
Supported by: Aomori Gakujutsu Bunka Shinko Zaidan
Nominal Support: Aomori Prefectural Folk Art Association, NHK Aomori Broadcasting Station, Aomori Television Broadcasting Co., Ltd., RAB Aomori Broadcasting Corporation, Asahi Broadcasting Aomori Co., Ltd., Aomori Cable Television, Aomori Fm Broadcasting, ABH (Aomori Bunka Housou), The To-o Nippo Press Co., MUTUSINPOU co,. ltd.